Now that a couple days have past since the tough CAA tourney semi-final loss to Bill & Mary, I’m finally able to look ahead to the Towson’s men’s basketball program going forward.
Of course, this 2013-14 senior class won’t soon be forgotten and I’m extremely confident I’ll be at SECU Arena in the future to see Two-Time CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon’s #30 jersey hung to the rafters.
But as the hackiest of all hacky sports cliche goes, “what have you done for me lately?”
Well for starters, head coach Pat Skerry is returning some solid core players from this season including starting Sophomore forward Timajh Parker-Rivera. He averaged a solid 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds on a Senior-laden squad that included the rebounding leader in the nation (Benimon). His arrow was pointing north towards the end of the season as he doubled his averages to 10.5/6.3 while shooting a solid 58.3 percent from the field in the last eight games of the season.
And don’t forget Sophomore guard and CAA quarterfinal hero Four McGlynn who was the team’s most consistent long ball threat. He also got better as the season progressed and in the CAA quarterfinal lead the team in scoring hitting “four” huge 3’s.
These two will help bridge the gap for the players like Freshman forward (6’5″) John Davis (who only played in 19 games), but is looked at as a potential starter next season because of his production in those limited minutes.
Freshman guard Marquis Marshall (6’5″) just might be the Tiger’s deadliest shooters overall and paired with McGlynn could light up the SECU scoreboard. Junior forward (6’10”) Jamel Flash will be the only Senior on the young, athletic squad and with his size should see sizable minutes.
Recruiting wise, Skerry is killing it like his former boss Jamie Dixon did at Pittsburgh. He announced last November his incoming 2014-15 class and it was loaded with local talent.
“I’m really excited about this signing class,” Skerry said back in November. “We have a great senior class on this year’s team (2013-14) and we worked hard to find guys with the ability to continue building on what they’ve accomplished.”
Two of the incoming Freshman, combo guard forward (6’5″) Allen Costley and PG (6’1″) Byron Hawkins are Maryland high school products who were ranked extremely high on many of the recruiting websites and rankings.
Skerry on Costley: “Allen is a big-time athlete. He reminds me a lot of Marcus Damas.”
Hawkins is a point guard who has an ability to score, but excels at finding teammates and creating shots for others. And with shooters like McGylnn and Marshall, the Tigers could again be challenging for the top of the CAA conference again in 2014-15.
Now losing of over 70 percent of your offensive output will make things difficult on a coach. Especially with only one senior expected to see major minutes. Add in losing who you consider the best player ever to play in the program (Benimon) as coach Skerry boasted with the BSR Podcast.
But if taking over a program that went 1-30 in your first season didn’t scare coach away, then losing four outstanding Seniors shouldn’t rattle the fiery Massachusetts native head coach.
Look for the Tigers to make another strong showing in the CAA regular season and make some noise in next year’s CAA Conference Tournament held once again at the Baltimore Arena. #TigerPride